I have dabbled with cylindrical panoramas on and off since 2002, using a Horizon 202 swing lens film camera. But when I aquired the Canon EOS 10D, I stopped using film completely, including the Horizon.
Panoramas still held a fascination, and I tested various programs for stitching multiple images into a complete panorama, but none of them had the ease of use that satisfied me, and the photographic hardware I had was not really suited for the task.
As time went on, the 10D was exchanged for a 1D MkII, and I started experimenting with home made panorama heads (wood and metal angle brackets). The problem with this camera, is that it is very heavy, and needed a Large DIY VR Panorama Head. A Manfrotto 300N was used as a rotator for this head.
The widest lens I had at the time, was the EF 17-40/4.0 (this lens was unfortunately not sharp enough when I went full frame, and had to go). This makes for a very unwieldy panorama camera, requiring too many shots. A Sigma 8mm F3.5 EX DG was purchased.
Later on, I got a 400D, and a smaller DIY VR Panorama Head had to be made.
The 400D was then replaced by a 40D. The 40D has live view, and I used this to verify the accuracy of the focusing scale on the Sigma. It turned out to be pretty bad, and this is how the correct setting of the focus barrel for the Sigma 8mm F3.5 EX DG can be determined.
And then there was the 5D MkII with an EF 15/2.8 fisheye. The head is also finally a proper panorama head: The Nodal Ninja 5. It does not use a register pin for attaching the camera plate, so I was eager to test an idea I had for attaching the camera plate, and it worked like a charm.
But during a trip to the Philippines, it simply became too much and too heavy, and was replaced with Micro Four Thirds equipment.
My current setup is an Olympus OM-D E-M5 with a Samyang 7.5/3.5 fisheye, with the Nodal Ninja 5.
The software I ended up using, is PTGui for stitching, and krpano Panorama Viewer to display the panoramas on this web site.
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